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Popham honored by Relay for Life for her fight against cancer

  • Heather Harbison reads her nomination letter about her friend, Sarah Bertolozzi Popham, during last week's Relay for Life meeting. Harbison said Popham is more than a friend, 'she is a hero.'

    Heather Harbison reads her nomination letter about her friend, Sarah Bertolozzi Popham, during last week's Relay for Life meeting. Harbison said Popham is more than a friend, 'she is a hero.'
    Photo by Holly Kee

  • Sarah Bertolozzi Popham listens as her friend Heather Harbison reads the tribute she wrote detailing Popham's personal battles with cancer.  Popham was honored as both an Honorary Survivor and Honorary Caregiver for the 2017 Relay for Life.

    Sarah Bertolozzi Popham listens as her friend Heather Harbison reads the tribute she wrote detailing Popham's personal battles with cancer. Popham was honored as both an Honorary Survivor and Honorary Caregiver for the 2017 Relay for Life.
    Photo by Holly Kee

 
Posted on 4/26/2017, 5:00 AM

When Heather Harbison read about honors to be bestowed to someone who has either battled cancer or who has taken care of someone going through cancer, she knew just who deserved that distinction. Her only question was which award should be given.
"I thought to myself, why nominate her for just one?'" Harbison wrote. "She is someone that deserves both honors."
That "someone" is Harbison's friend, Sarah Bertolozzi Popham, honored last week as Honorary Survivor and Honorary Caregiver for the 2017 American Cancer Society Relay for Life for Franklin County.
Harbison described her friend as a hero.
"When I think of someone people should look up to, I think of her," she wrote in her nomination letter. "Sarah is a hard worker, she never gives up, she has a positive attitude, she is a person of her word, she is straight forward, she is honest, she is funny, she has a heart of gold, she would out of her way for you."
Harbison said her friend is not only a caregiver, "she is a fighter, and most importantly, she is a survivor."
Popham knows cancer too well. She cared for her mother during her battle with cancer until she finally succumbed to the disease. Popham was then diagnosed with cancer herself.
"She embraced it with such grace and dignity," Harbison said. "She never felt sorry for herself."
Harbison said her friend used humor to deal with her situation, and she went even further. Popham, a single parent, turned it into a life lesson for her 10-year-old son, Holden. She helped him start a team for the Relay for Life. "Holden's Helpers" has already raised more than $2,000 for the event.
Harbison said that while her friend deserves the honors, they are really inconsequential.
"She has already won the most important thing … life," Habison said.

As for Popham, she says "life is good."